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West Kelowna

West Kelowna
Westside (2007–2009)
City of West Kelowna[1]
West Kelowna as seen from Mount Boucherie, with Okanagan Lake and Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park in the background
West Kelowna as seen from Mount Boucherie, with Okanagan Lake and Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park in the background
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Region Okanagan
Regional district Central Okanagan
(district municipality)
December 6, 2007
Name change January 30, 2009
Incorporated (city)[2] June 26, 2015
 • Mayor Doug Findlater
 • Total 123.51 km2 (47.69 sq mi)
Elevation 484 m (1,588 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 30,892
 • Density 250.1/km2 (648/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
Highways 97
Waterways Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna is a city in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. The city encompasses several distinct communities including historic Westbank, Glenrosa, Smith Creek, Shannon Lake, Rose Valley, West Kelowna Estates, Casa Loma, and Lakeview Heights. West Kelowna's population in 2011 was 30,892, making it the second-largest municipality in the Kelowna-based Regional District of Central Okanagan.

West Kelowna was originally incorporated on December 6, 2007, as Westside District Municipality, so-named because it was the name of the regional district rural electoral area at the time. On January 30, 2009, the district was renamed West Kelowna. Its nickname is also "Westbank".[4] The district municipality was redesignated as a city on June 26, 2015.[2]


  • Geography 1
  • Incorporation 2
  • Name change 3
  • Development and growth 4
  • Education 5
  • Recreation and culture 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The areas within the city's jurisdiction include historic Westbank, Glenrosa, Shannon Lake, and Smith Creek in the south, which comprise approximately half of the total population, along with several other communities in the north, closer to Kelowna, including Casa Loma, West Kelowna Estates, Rose Valley and Lakeview Heights.

Adjacent to the City of West Kelowna's boundaries are two self-governing reserves of the Westbank First Nation,[5] Tsinstikeptum 9 and Tsinstikeptum 10. Approximately 9,000 non-band members and 800 First Nation Westbank band members live on the reserves.[6]


Westside District Municipality came into existence on December 6, 2007, following a June 16, 2007 referendum in which Westside residents voted to incorporate by a margin of 5,924 votes to 5,582.[7] The other choice was amalgamation with the City of Kelowna, with a previous question on the ballot offering the option of remaining unincorporated within the regional district's Westside electoral area.[8] The vote was split along highly geographical lines with voters from Westbank, Glenrosa and other areas farther away from the City of Kelowna more often voting to incorporate and voters living closer to Kelowna typically choosing amalgamation.

On November 15, 2008, Doug Findlater was elected the new mayor of West Kelowna, succeeding the municipality's first mayor Rosalind Neis, who had served an initial one-year term. Neis opted not to run for a second term as mayor, choosing instead to run for a seat as a councillor. Neis is currently one of six councilors serving with Findlater.[9]

Name change

During the November 2008 civic election, Westside residents were also asked in a "Community Opinion Vote" to select a permanent name for the fledgling municipality.[10] The new name of West Kelowna, with 3,841 votes, was selected by a narrow margin over the closest contender, Westbank, with 3,675 votes. The West Kelowna name was subsequently confirmed by the district council on December 9, 2008. The controversial new name became official on January 30, 2009 after the Government of British Columbia approved the change.[11]

Development and growth

West Kelowna has shared in the rapid growth experienced in the Okanagan area in the last decade. Between 2001 and 2006 alone, the population of the census area encompassing the municipality grew by 11.4%.[12]

Traditional shopping areas in West Kelowna are downtown Westbank, Lakeview Heights Shopping Centre and the Highway 97 Industrial Area. However, in the 1990s, Canadian federal grant money enabled the Westbank First Nation to bring in water from Okanagan Lake, allowing the band to open its reserves to major development. This has created competition for West Kelowna's commercial sector. Starting with a shopping centre near downtown Westbank, the Westbank First Nation began building large commercial developments along Highway 97. In the fall of 2006, a second big-box shopping centre was opened on Westbank First Nation land. The shopping mall was called the "Hub Centre" in honour of the former occupant of the site, a hubcap shop. Nearby developments include the Two Eagles Golf Course and attendant housing, other major on-reserve housing developments and another major shopping centre on the west side of the highway.[13]

Canada 2006 Census Population % of Total Population
Visible minority group
Chinese 155 0.5%
South Asian 280 1%
Black 95 0.3%
Filipino 30 0.1%
Latin American 55 0.2%
Southeast Asian 65 0.2%
Arab 10 0%
West Asian 15 0.1%
Korean 35 0.1%
Japanese 230 0.8%
Other visible minority 20 0.1%
Mixed visible minority 95 0.3%
Total visible minority population 1,090 3.8%
Aboriginal group
First Nations 1,095 3.8%
Métis 0 0%
Inuit 0 0%
Total Aboriginal population 1,095 3.8%
White 26,665 92.4%
Total population 28,850 100%


West Kelowna is located within

  • Official website

External links

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  18. ^ Glenrosa Middle School.
  19. ^ Hudson Road Elementary School,
  20. ^ Rose Valley School,
  21. ^ Chief Tomat Elementary School,
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The Mount Boucherie Community Centre offers Royal LePage Place arena, home to the BCHL team the West Kelowna Warriors, and Jim Lind Arena for ice sport clubs such as hockey, figure skating and ringette. Many residents enjoy a lakefront walking trail alongside Gellatly Road and several swimming areas along Okanagan Lake, including Willow Beach. Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre, in downtown Westbank, offers public swimming and recreational programs. Several community and regional parks are scattered throughout the municipality, offering soccer pitches, ball fields, children's play areas and hiking trails. The award winning Constable Neil Bruce Soccer Fields are also a popular recreational destination. The municipality also funds youth and seniors centres in downtown Westbank. A community garden, pergola and two off-leash dog parks are located in the Westbank Town Centre Park off Hebert Road. Crystal Ski Resort[28] is located west of the municipality and is about a 15 minute drive from the downtown core. Telemark Cross Country Ski Club is located next to the ski resort.[29] There are two golf courses in the municipality – Shannon Lake Golf Course[30] and Two Eagles Golf Course.[31] Culturally, the area offers has no theatre or major art gallery, though a few smaller galleries sell works by local artists and potters.

Recreation and culture

[27] and Okanagan College.[26] Post-secondary educational opportunities are available in the nearby City of Kelowna including two major public institutions: UBC Okanagan[25] Helen Gorman Elementary School, and Sensisyusten House of Learning.[24] Glenrosa Elementary School,[23]

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